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Classical - Released September 13, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique
Since setting off in the early 2000s, Pierre Hantaï is still journeying into Domenico Scarlatti’s world. After a hiatus of more than ten years following the third volume, the harpsichordist finally recorded a fourth volume in 2016 and this autumn sees the sixth one come into bloom, once again superbly recorded in Haarlem in the Netherlands by Nicolas Bartholomée. Pierre Hantaï is taking his time to gradually construct a perfect anthology of Scarlatti’s keyboard work. Here, he explores some of his little-known sonatas. His keyboard intensifies the profound rhythmic force of Scarlatti’s world: the sharp lines burst forth, the harmonic tension constantly explodes, the new tones are revealed smoothly, and his playing – with an exhilarating left hand – is stunning throughout. The first five sonatas of this new release (all of which have a fairly fast tempo) form a representative ensemble of a rather uncompromising Scarlatti, followed by a moment of gravity and meditation with the exquisite Sonata in F minor, K. 69, while the surrounding Sonatas K. 502 and K. 43 (with a wonderfully volatile left hand) have clearly marked rhythms. The style and atmosphere changes with Sonata in C major, K. 384, whose tender “French” tone is emphasised by Pierre Hantaï, and at the same time there’s an almost modern feel which goes beyond even Soler’s most audacious scores. Fascinating! While the tender sonatas (K. 550, K. 544) distil an aftertaste that is slightly more spicy than the previous volumes, what continues to surprise us with Hantaï in this repertoire is his prolonged search for a “Hispanic” feel - a Spain in a majestic trance, with colliding rhythms and contrasting accents and registers. Let’s hope that Pierre Hantaï does not wait another ten years to deliver the seventh volume; there is no doubt that these Scarlatti recordings will remain one of the most exciting and necessary musical adventures of the 21st century. A perfectly captured sound, style and universe. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 12, 2015 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
Staying true to himself, harpsichordist Jean Rondeau stirs up another musical storm. In his interpretation of around fifteen Sonatas by Scarlatti, he unleashes a kind of rawness, a poetic rawness, as if he had invented the sonatas on the spot. But no, no, they are indeed Scarlatti’s sonatas! On the other hand, Domenico's letter to Queen Marie-Barbara de Bragança, found in the accompanying booklet, is factually apocryphal. She was his pupil as early as 1720 and continued to be until her royal marriage to the Spanish court; it seems that it was for her that he wrote his approximately five hundred and fifty-five sonatas, that is to say that he had found a student worthy of his genius. The farce on the ninth track is also apocryphal, which Rondeau uses as an interlude between the two “parts” of his programme. It is a funny little improvisation of jumbled notes and clusters - enough to clean the ears between the two Scarlattis. The instrument used here is quite amazing; it is a harpsichord “based on German models”, built in 2006 by Jonte Knif & Arno Pelto. It offers an extremely rich sound with a rather unusual tone, showing that it takes more than just pressing the keys of a harpsichord to get the desired sound. With his very personal technique, Rondeau makes his harpsichord wonderfully unique, giving the baroque music an incredibly modern feel. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 17, 2019 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Scarlatti and the mandolin: this recording provides a fascinating and unusual encounter between one of the most important composers of the baroque period and an instrument that originated in Naples and enjoyed great popularity throughout Europe, especially in Paris and in other European capitals during the 18th century. The Pizzicar Galante ensemble, founded in Paris in 2012 by mandolinist Anna Schivazappa and harpsichordist Fabio Antonio Falcone, reveals hidden aspects of these musical gems from the Italian Baroque. Drawing inspiration from a mysterious 18th-century French manuscript containing the first movement of Scarlatti’s Sonata K 89, preceded by the indication ‘Sonatina per mandolino e cimbalo’, the musicians deliver a fresh and original interpretation of these works. The music is full of contrasts, rich in virtuoso passages, surprises and effects but also full of sweetness and humour, combined with a certain meditative melancholy. Specialized in the Italian repertoire for mandolin and basso continuo, Pizzicar Galante gives voice to different instrumental timbres. Among these, the charming, crystal-clear sound of an original 18th-century Neapolitan mandolin: an absolute rarity that makes this recording truly unique. © Arcana
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Solo Piano - Released March 11, 2016 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month
The pianist Yevgeny Sudbin here returns to the music of Domenico Scarlatti, ten years after his first Scarlatti recording in 2005 (which was also his first recording for Sweden's BIS label). Once again he offers heavily pianistic re-imaginations of the music, akin to the approach pioneered by the pianist who first popularized these sonatas, Vladimir Horowitz. There is little concession to the sound the music would have had if it were played on a harpsichord, and in fact, here in his booklet notes, which are just about worth the price of admission by themselves, Sudbin even likens playing the sonatas on the piano to the act of transcribing them. Indeed, the capabilities of one instrument are substituted for those of another. The slow minor-key sonatas, with their tempo rubato and their pedal usage, are in a Chopin mode, and Sudbin takes a good deal of liberty with tempo and ornamentation in the repeats. Sample the Keyboard Sonata in D minor, K. 213 (track 5), or any of the other minor-key sonatas for a taste. Sudbin balances these with brilliant, fast contrapuntal pieces that take the curves quickly; the relationship between harpsichord and guitar is lost, but there's no question that he's exciting to hear at high speeds and keeps everything clear. If you're in the market for extremely pianistic Scarlatti, Sudbin's unpacks the remarkable dissonances and idiosyncratic structures of the slow sonatas especially well. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released April 27, 2016 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released May 5, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released October 4, 2019 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc Classica de l'année
Like other new virtuosi before him, Lucas Debargue has recorded his own version of a selection of 52 sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. His affinity with the Italian composer’s particular universe was already revealed in his very first album which showcased four of his sonatas alongside Ravel (a splendid version of Gaspard de la nuit), Liszt and Chopin. The vast corpus of Scarlatti’s 555 sonatas offers an almost infinite amount of inspiration to pianists, with regard to rhythm, as well as to the colour and stylistic approach. Just as we would have expected, the original personality of the French pianist brings a breath of fresh air, sometimes radical, to this delicate music, often bordering on the peculiar. For this new recording from Sony Classical, Lucas Debargue has chosen sonatas which are not often played, and a brand-new instrument, the already legendary 280 VC from the latest generation of the famous Vienna piano-makers Bösendorfer, now entirely owned by the Japanese brand Yamaha. Debargue almost never uses the pedals and has no organological or musicological troubles, claiming to be heavily influenced by Scott Ross’ recordings which he grew up with. Thus Scarlatti’s subtle writing is highlighted with no gimmicks, benefiting from the fine acoustics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Dahlem in Berlin as well as a natural and airy sound recording. The result is a timeless and fascinating vision of this music which walks us through time. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 23, 2012 | Outhere - Rewind

Booklet
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Classical - Released April 10, 2015 | Berlin Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released May 10, 2019 | Naxos

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Chamber Music - Released May 25, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 5 étoiles de Classica
It was when he heard a harpsichordist playing for the students at the university in his home town of Angers that Justin Taylor first discovered this instrument and its intriguing sound. He split his time between the piano and a harpsichord apprenticeship that he took with Olivier Beaumont and Blandine Rannou, also following masterclasses from Skip Sempé and Pierre Hantaï. What followed was a modern fairytale. The young man made furious progress, swiftly becoming a poster boy for the French harpsichord, winning the Bruges Competition and being named the musical "Revelation" of 2017, at the age of 23. A first album, dedicated to the Family Forqueray (Alpha, Qobuzissime) was showered in plaudits and soon followed by a number of concerts at prestigious festivals, which seem not to have remotely changed this young Franco-American. For his second project with Alpha Classics, Justin Taylor deftly blends Scarlatti with Ligeti, a composer he knows well, having played his formidable Continuum at the admission competition for the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMD). In this new album, Scarlatti's harmonic daring joins a György Ligeti fascinated by the work of his distant Neapolitan colleague. The result is a real firework, lit and aimed by ten fingers which are as intelligent as they are fiendish – this artist is absolutely one to watch. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 9, 2020 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet
Scarlatti’s single-movement sonatas or exercises are his greatest musical legacy. Largely designed for the Infanta, who became Queen of Spain in 1746, the music exists in a number of 18th-century manuscripts, some possibly bequeathed to the great Italian castrato Farinelli. Each of the sonatas in this volume exemplifies the limitless variety of Scarlatti’s imagination, from ‘crush’ notes and surprising pauses, through virtuosic moto perpetuos, bell evocations and busy counterpoint, to delicately restrained phrases and delightful syncopation. © Naxos
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Classical - Released May 4, 2018 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet
Chandos’ new exclusive collaboration with the recent Salzburg and Leeds competition winner Federico Colli is kicking off with this first volume in a unique Scarlatti series. Playing on a modern Steinway, the Italian pianist – internationally recognised for his intelligent, imaginative interpretations and impeccable technique – here explores the keyboard sonatas of Scarlatti, taking a fresh approach from a philosophical angle, by grouping the compositions into ‘chapters’ in order to reflect the many contrasts of his life and his contradictory personality. In personal booklet notes Colli reveals: ‘I conceived a map of a journey into transcendental thought, beyond the works’ phenomenological meaning. Each chapter has a title and the individual sonatas in each chapter refer back to the permeating image of its basic idea.’ This album is an exceptional start to what promises to be an exciting, long-lasting partnership. © Chandos
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Chamber Music - Released November 17, 2014 | Mirare

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Classical - Released January 1, 1992 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released May 20, 2014 | Ricercar

Booklet
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Classical - Released June 1, 1974 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
The keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti never fell out of the repertory the way most other Baroque music did, and there is a tradition of performing it on the piano that is perhaps even longer than that for Bach's keyboard music. It is still odd, however, to see the words "piano sonatas" on the cover of an album like this one, for they are actually sonatas for harpsichord. Much is lost when they are played on the piano -- for example the subtle linkage in the eighteenth century mind between the harpsichord and the guitar, especially in the work of a composer who worked in Spain and let its vernacular traditions subtly flavor his music. The beginning of the fourth track on this album, the Sonata in D major, K. 435, sounds arbitrary on a piano but makes perfect sense on a harpsichord. That said, the huge variety of ways Scarlatti could infuse dense chromaticism into a simple binary form gains added articulation when the sonatas are made to sound like Chopin, as the slower ones are here. Russian-born pianist Yevgeny Sudbin is an intense-looking soul with quite an arresting presence at the keyboard, even on disc. In the faster sonatas he tends to begin with a light, almost grazing touch and shapes phrases in such a way that they reach their sharpest edge at an unexpected point. He has the effortless quality and a certain X-factor fearlessness that make for pianistic stardom, and in the slower pieces he manages to lay on quite a bit of pedal without losing clarity. The selection of pieces, covering a wide variety of Scarlattian textures -- operatic, contrapuntal, guitar-like, dance-oriented, hyperexpressive -- is another strong point, and it gives Sudbin a chance to display his emotional range. The album was beautifully recorded, in a Swedish concert hall, and the booklet gives a good introduction to Scarlatti's compositional world -- although it would have been nice if the characterization of Scarlatti's works as "original and happy freaks" had been sourced to its originator, Charles Burney. For those not willing to hear Scarlatti on his own terms in the recordings of Pierre Hantaï and others, Sudbin's version ranks as an exciting new release. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 7, 2011 | Warner Classics